Life’s a Beach

February 16, 2010

Edisto Island Beach

I’ve been going to the beach ever since I was a toddler. Because my father was raised in South Jersey and we had relatives living in Linwood and Somers Point, my family vacationed near the beach every year.

We never stayed at the beach; that would’ve been too expensive. We would rent a small apartment or stay on my uncle’s cabin cruiser (also small) a few miles in from the shore. Most of our time was spent fishing and crabbing in the inland bays and marshes. Once or twice during our stay we’d go into Atlantic City or Ocean City to spend some time on the beach or stroll along the boardwalk.

Fishing and crabbing with nephews and nieces

I recall one vacation when my parents did something different. I believe it was 1955 or 1956. Instead of going to South Jersey, we went to Cambridge, Maryland and rented a cottage along the Choptank River. We arrived shortly after a hurricane had passed through. Not only was the river running fast and deep, many of the surrounding fields were still draining. We saw a number of people holding chicken wire at the end of irrigation ditches. They were catching some very large fish that had been driven inland by the storm surge.

On that particular trip, the beach wasn’t quite as convenient. But on one of our days in Maryland, we drove over to Ocean City, Maryland and enjoyed their beach and boardwalk.

I have been to beaches all up and down the East Coast, Mississippi, Texas, California, and Oregon. I’ve also visited Brighton Beach in England and some beaches in Puerto Rico and Mexico. They all speak the same language as they invite us to either walk along the water’s edge or sit down and watch the waves rolling in.

Without even closing my eyes, I can hear the sound of the surf, the wind, and the sea gulls.

I’ve often thought about living closer to a beach. I wouldn’t want to own a home on the beach. Hurricanes might not hit a particular beach that often, but once would be more than enough for me. I’d like to live about twenty miles inland so it would be an easy trip to get close to the ocean.

However, with most of our children and grandchildren living within thirty miles of us, I’d find it difficult to move anywhere.

Perhaps we could win the lottery. Then we could move the entire extended family.

My bride and I on Tybee Island

I have been to the beach so many times in my life that I consider it a God given blessing and wish everyone – especially children – could visit a beach on a regular basis.

Twice we were able to stay at rental properties right on the beach. Once was in Ocean City, New Jersey and the other was on Edisto Island. My bride and I rented the place in New Jersey at the end of the summer season (reduced rates) and my nephews and nieces chipped in. On Edisto Island, we were fortunate to be the guests of John and Debbe Mize. That was in November a couple of years back.

Based on those two experiences, I’d say the best time to go to the beach is after Labor Day and before June. The temperatures are much milder and there are no crowds.

We’re hoping to get to at least one beach in 2010, but I think I’m already there mentally.


Ramblings

January 22, 2010

Container Ship on the Savannah River

I’d never been this close to a container ship prior to the day I took the picture. I continue to be amazed at how many containers were on board this vessel. When you realize that each of those containers would eventually become part of an 18-wheeler, it’s almost beyond comprehension.

Take it a step farther and think about the TV show, “Deadliest Catch” and try to picture this ship being tossed around like a cork in a storm at sea. That’s when the power of nature becomes even more awesome than this ship.

In case you’re wondering, I’m flipping through my collection of pictures again.

Sunrise at Port Angeles, Washington

The above photo was taken while my brothers, two nephews, and I awaited a ferry to take us to Victoria, British Columbia. The body of water isn’t the Pacific Ocean, but it’s close enough.

I often think this photo is almost “post card” quality. But there are better ones in the collection.

Sunrise at Ocean City, New Jersey

My bride took that picture.

Shore line in Puerto Rico

I captured this image during our visit with a future movie star and his bride.

Richard Pastush - the future star

Our friend, Richard Pastush is the fourth from the right – the guy in the purple tank top. These folks are part of the cast of the movie, “Men Who Stare at Goats”.

The wall around Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

I think it’s rather obvious that my bride and I enjoy visiting places close to the water.

I’ll have to dig up some pictures taken before we bought the digital camera and see what memories they invoke. Watch this space for future entries!


Who Needs Miracles?

April 12, 2009

It is Easter Sunday and I have some questions for all of us:

Did Jesus really have to die on a cross and arise from the dead to get us to accept his message?

Did Jesus really need to change the water into wine to convince us that we should love one another?

Did Jesus really need to walk on water to get us to recognize the love of God?

Did Jesus really need to feed the thousands with a few loaves and fishes to make us realize that the Kingdom of God is in our own hearts?

Did Jesus really have to heal the leper, give sight to the blind, and cast out demons in order for us to believe the things he had to say?

Did we even listen to what He had to say?

I believe Cecil B. DeMille and other Hollywood film makers have led us astray. Unless the Mississippi River is parted to allow a baby to be saved from drowning, we don’t see it as a miracle.

All we have to do is look at that new born baby and think about the complexity behind his or her birth – that’s the miracle!

Walk across a room with a full glass of water and think about how your brain and body react to each step to keep you from spilling the water. Then think about what it would take to create a robot that could achieve that same control.

Personally, I think we spend so much time contemplating the miracles that we lose sight of why Jesus came to earth.

Several years ago I was asked to write the words for a song. I was encouraged to put myself in the shoes of someone else and write words accordingly. The people who requested this knew that I spent a lot of time with the homeless; they expected something from that perspective.

I did a lot of praying on this, and found myself writing the following words:

———————————————————–

I know I have been there to share your pain; I’ve shared in your happiness too.

I’ve walked by your side through sun and rain, nothing have I refused for you.

I have put your needs above my own, fed you and dressed you it’s true.

My life I have lived for you alone, now this, I’m asking of you.

Don’t praise me in words, don’t praise me in song

Don’t praise me at all in these ways.

Just love one another as I have loved you

And honor my Father always… always.

I died on the cross to give you life; I’ve shown you that death has no sting.

I’ve born all your burdens, all your strife; I’ve proven my Father is King.

Now I ask that you do as I do. Sing your praise by doing God’s will.

Your actions will tell me all about you. So this I’m asking you still

Don’t praise me in words, don’t praise me in song

Don’t praise me at all in these ways.

Just love one another as I have loved you

And honor my Father always… always.

————————————————————————————–

The words were later set to music by a friend from Puerto Rico, Angel “Cucho” Garcia. We performed it once in front of a group involved with Cursillo. They liked the music, but felt the words were too harsh. They insisted we should be praising God and Jesus.

I beg to differ. Anyone who constantly says, “Praise the Lord” and ignores the teachings of Christ is a person who continues to miss the message.

Jesus put it as simply as he could.

Love God, and love one another.

If we all followed those two simple commandments, there truly would be peace on earth.


Another busy day

March 19, 2009
Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island

I have quite a few things I need to do today. Thus, I’ll just show you some of the pictures I’ve taken over the years.

Sunrise at Port Angeles

Sunrise at Port Angeles

Sunrise in Ocean City, NJ

Sunrise in Ocean City, NJ

Thomas Leeds' last known address prior to leaving for America

Thomas Leeds' last known address prior to leaving for America

Old San Juan in Puerto Rico

Old San Juan in Puerto Rico

If this is your first visit, take a few minutes to poke around and see what else is here. I’m sure you’ll find something of interest.

If you’re a frequent visitor, stay tuned… I’ll get busy writing something new soon.